Why charities should be using LinkedIn

publication date: Jul 23, 2018
 | 
author/source: Cindy Younan


LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network with more than 500 million members in 200 countries*. It attracts career-oriented individuals, businesses, organizations, and even charities. It serves many purposes: headhunters and companies use it to recruit great candidates; individuals use it to highlight their professional work experience and to search for jobs; it’s a great place for companies to share important updates, open positions, and details of their mission and values; and you can network and endorse colleagues.

Understanding the unique opportunities LinkedIn presents and mapping it to your objectives can produce exciting results. This post looks at these opportunities and provides you with practical tips for getting started on LinkedIn. If your charity isn’t already on it, consider these reasons why it should be.

Share your mission and work

As charities, we’re well aware of the value of corporate gifts, funding, and sponsorship. There’s no better place to make your organization visible to these prospective partners than on LinkedIn. You can easily communicate what your organization does, what you are working on, your impact, and what you need support for.

Similar to a Facebook Page, you can share your photos, updates and articles on your organization’s LinkedIn Public Profile. The “About Us” section is featured front-and-centre, and you can post jobs or volunteer positions. Using your organization’s logo as your profile picture is a great way to build brand recognition. If people are interested in your work, they can “follow” your page to receive updates from you in their feed.

On LinkedIn, people are accustomed to seeing long-form posts as opposed to frequent, short status updates, and videos like Facebook is optimized for. In fact, more than 100,000 articles are published each week!* Some ideas to fuel your creativity include: thought-leadership pieces, annual reports, major milestones, case studies, and press releases.

Always keep in mind that—unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—LinkedIn is more formal, so ensure you maintain a professional voice. Tone down your donation asks and focus more on sharing your impact and connecting with others.

While it’s not necessary to share updates and post daily, it’s important to maintain a consistent schedule that’s realistic for you. For tips on optimizing your LinkedIn content and getting insights on who’s seeing it, visit the LinkedIn Official Blog.

Recruit experienced staff, board members and skilled volunteers

LinkedIn is the perfect place to post your open paid and volunteer positions. LinkedIn for Nonprofits offers nonprofits the ability to post board and volunteer opportunities, and to search for candidates.

Get your Profile page in top shape so you can attract the right talent—people whose values are aligned with your mission. Share the exciting aspects of your work culture that would make anyone want to join your team! It’s also helpful to encourage your staff to write testimonials about the work experience they have gained. Being transparent about your work on LinkedIn is key to attracting the right kind of people to work with you in any capacity.

LinkedIn is about networking and sharing job postings that get noticed. Ask your staff and board members to share your postings with their personal and professional networks. Most LinkedIn users know it’s all about making connections so don’t be shy in asking your key contacts to help with your recruiting efforts.

One of the most useful tools available on LinkedIn is the Search tool. Searching for ideal prospects is easy because you can filter by name, location, company, industry, nonprofit interests, schools attended, and more. LinkedIn users share their work experience, job titles, interests, and skills. Also, you can often identify good prospects by looking at the endorsements they’ve received. Work the Search!

Connect with your staff and volunteers

As a registered charity itself, CanadaHelps.org allows donors to safely donate and fundraise online for any registered Canadian charity and also provides charities the secure online fundraising platform and education resources they need to succeed. Stay connected with CanadaHelps on Twitter @CanadaHelps.

People seek to learn about organizations and networks on LinkedIn. Encourage your staff and volunteers to tag your organization in their LinkedIn Profile as a place they worked or volunteered at. By doing so, there are two benefits. First, whenever someone sees your organization’s name linked to someone’s profile, they can click to go to your Profile page and learn more. Second, your LinkedIn page will show the number of employees on LinkedIn who work at your organization.

You can also suggest that your staff join relevant sector groups and share your mission-related news with their networks. It's good for your charity, but it's also great for reminding staff of the important work you do, and how proud they should be.

Use it as an advertising platform

LinkedIn is not too different from Facebook in terms of advertising tools, offering built-in insights and audience segmentation tools. It’s currently more expensive than posting ads on other social media platforms and it’s not necessarily the right platform for all campaigns. Start with small tests to see if it’s the right platform for you, or reserve your LinkedIn ad spend to key recruitment needs.

As a registered charity itself, CanadaHelps.org allows donors to safely donate and fundraise online for any registered Canadian charity and also provides charities the secure online fundraising platform and education resources they need to succeed. Stay connected with CanadaHelps on Twitter @CanadaHelps.



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